Greg Egan SCHILD'S LADDER (GOLLANCZ S.F.)

ISBN 13: 9780575081116

SCHILD'S LADDER (GOLLANCZ S.F.)

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9780575081116: SCHILD'S LADDER (GOLLANCZ S.F.)

The Age of Death ended countless millennia ago. No longer burdened by limited lifespans, the immortal humans who populate inhabited space now have the luxury to travel vast distances effortlessly and to tinker with the intricate mechanics of space time. But one such experiment in quantum physics has had a catastrophic and unanticipated result, creating an enormous, rapidly expanding vacuum—a region of new physics—with the frightening potential to devour countless inhabited solar systems.

Tchicaya abandoned his home world four thousand years ago to travel the universe, freely choosing, as have others of his bent, to endure the hardships of distance and loneliness for the sake of knowledge and experience. Aboard the Rindler, a starship trawling the border of the all consuming novo-vacuum, he feels his endless life has new purpose. For the Rindler is the center for the scientific study the phenomenon—a common ground for Preservationists and Yielders alike, those working to halt and destroy the encroaching worlds-eater...and those determined to investigate its marvels while allowing its growth to continue unchecked. Tchicaya has allied himself firmly with the latter camp.

The passing decades—and inevitable expansion of the void—widen the great rift between the two factions, intensifying what was once simply ideological differences into something more angry, explosive, and dangerous. And the arrival of Tchicaya's fiery first love, Mariama, and her immediate embracing of the Preservationist cause, intensifies an inner turmoil he has been struggling with since his distant childhood. But everything onboard the Rindler—and, ultimately, in the inhabited universe itself—is on the cusp of further cataclysmic change, as the Yielders' explorations threaten to transform discord into violent action and potential xenocide.

For new evidence suggests that something unthinkable is developing at an astounding rate deep within the mysterious, 600-light-years-wide void—something neither Tchicaya and his compatriots nor Mariama and hers could ever have imagined possible: life.

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Review:

Greg Egan became the hottest new science-fiction author of the 1990s and won the Hugo and John W. Campbell Memorial awards by extrapolating cutting-edge quantum physics and consciousness theory to create rigorous and radical new visions of the posthuman future. Schild's Ladder affirms Mr. Egan's place, with Olaf Stapledon and Poul Anderson, among the giants of cosmic-scale SF.

In Schild's Ladder, humanity has transcended both death and Earth, and discovered its home world is nearly unique as a cradle of life. As it spreads throughout the galaxy, humanity enjoys an almost utopian existence--until a scientist accidentally creates an impenetrable, steadily expanding vacuum that devours star systems and threatens the entire universe with destruction.

Tchicaya is a Yielder, member of the faction that believes this "novo-vacuum" deserves study. The opposing Preservationists--among them Mariama, his first love--seek to save worlds and destroy the novo-vacuum. Discord heats to terrorist violence; then enmities and alliances are turned upside-down by a discovery that may mean the novo-vacuum is, instead, a new and very different universe--and one which may contain life. --Cynthia Ward

About the Author:

Greg Egan is a computer programmer, and the author of the acclaimed SF novels Permutation City, Diaspora, Teranesia, Quarantine, and the Orthogonal trilogy, all published by Night Shade Books. He has won the Hugo Award as well as the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Egan’s short fiction has been published in a variety of places, including Interzone, Asimov’s, and Nature. He lives in Australia.


Paul Boehmer is a seasoned actor who has appeared on Broadway, film, and television, including The Thomas Crown Affair and All My Children. Coinciding with another of his passions, sci-fi, Paul has been cast in various roles in many episodes of Star Trek.

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GREG EGAN
Published by GOLLANCZ (2007)
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